Importance of Eye Care

The Vital Role of Blood Pressure Management

A Healthy Heart is in Your Blood

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals found themselves delaying or abandoning routine annual wellness check-ups. It is important to maintain a routine schedule of care as these appointments play a pivotal role in identifying health issues at their earliest stages. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Every 33 seconds, someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease. One of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy heart lies in the vigilant monitoring of blood pressure, a screening conducted at your annual wellness visits. By staying aware of blood pressure levels, individuals can significantly mitigate the risks associated with hypertension and heart failure, thereby safeguarding their cardiovascular health.

Blood Pressure Importance

Almost one in every two adults has high blood pressure, with only about one in four managing to keep it under control, according to data from the CDC. Left unmanaged, high blood pressure poses a significant threat, elevating the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, pregnancy complications, and cognitive decline in later years.

The repercussions of untreated high blood pressure are profound. Health Match reports neglecting to address high blood pressure can reduce one’s lifespan by five to seven years. Annual wellness visits track blood pressure trends over time, allowing for quick detection and maintenance or treatment. Untreated high blood pressure can damage your overall health, inflicting enduring damage to arteries and the whole body, according to the American Heart Association. Complications such as vision loss, erectile dysfunction, and vascular dementia are among the potential outcomes of disregarded high blood pressure, as highlighted by the Mayo Clinic.

Tips to Help You Monitor Your Blood Pressure.

Genetics can influence your blood pressure level but the CDC emphasizes adopting healthier behaviors can lower high blood pressure, leading to a longer life with better overall well-being. Below are seven strategies for cultivating a heart-healthy lifestyle.

  1. 1- Maintain a good diet.

    • The American Heart Association recommends eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils.
    • Even a small reduction in sodium can improve heart health and reduce high blood pressure.
  2. 2- Exercise

    • Staying active helps manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve sleep.
    • Physical activity is a lifestyle choice that has a large impact on your overall health.
  3. 3- Do not smoke

    • Cigarette chemicals cause your blood to thicken and form clots in your veins and arteries. This can lead to heart attacks, stroke, or sudden death.
    • The CDC found there are rapid health improvements when someone quits smoking and within a year, heart attack risks dropped significantly.
  4. 4- Limit alcohol consumption

    • Too much alcohol can cause weight gain increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
    • According to the British Heart Foundation, heavy drinking can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke and contribute to cardiomyopathy - a heart condition that affects the heart muscle.
  5. 5- Take prescribed medication

    • Consistency is key for medication effectiveness.
  6. 6- Monitoring your blood pressure at home

    • This helps you stay attuned to your heart's health status
  7. 7- Prioritize sleep and reduce stress

    • Get more than six hours of sleep per night to reduce the risk of hypertension.
    • Long-term (chronic) stress may contribute to high blood pressure.

Talk to your doctor about your family's health history and let them know if you often have trouble sleeping or problems with stress.

Wellness Checks at Cornerstone Care

Dr. Julie Orlosky, family practice physician at Cornerstone Care says, “At your annual wellness visits we are monitoring your vitals, screening for health conditions, and developing a plan for your individual needs. Many diseases and conditions can be avoided or severely reduced if we catch signs or symptoms early. We look forward to seeing you and knowing that if we notice a change from one year to the next, we can make recommendations for lifestyle changes, and medications or offer insights to get your health back on track.”

As part of our commitment to promoting heart health, Cornerstone Care is offering enrollment in our HONEY program. This initiative is crafted to enhance both blood pressure management and cardiovascular wellness, fostering an overall healthy lifestyle. Through a comprehensive approach encompassing fitness, nutrition, classes, medical visits, and additional components, the program ensures progress toward your wellness goals. As an added incentive, participants receive a complimentary Fitbit to enhance their exercise experience. The HONEY program empowers individuals with resources to make healthy choices easier.

At Cornerstone Care, our mission is to improve the health and well-being of our patients and community with a special concern for those who are underserved. We recognize the significant barriers individuals face when accessing healthcare, particularly concerning cost.

Research reveals that a quarter of adults have opted out of seeking medical care due to financial constraints. As a Community Health Center, we prioritize inclusivity by accepting all major insurances, including Medicare, and implementing a sliding-scale fee structure that accommodates each patient's income and financial capacity. Our commitment is unwavering in ensuring that quality healthcare remains accessible to all.

Schedule an appointment

Make an appointment for your annual wellness visit today at one of our locations. Call or schedule online through the patient portal.

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